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Harbor

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  5,826 ratings  ·  659 reviews
From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes. One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen chan ...more
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2008)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,826 ratings  ·  659 reviews


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Gabriel
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Umm ... wow.

In many ways, this feels like a conclusion to a trilogy rather than a standalone book. A trilogy that folds back in on itself and maybe, that's where the true horror lies. No, you don't have to read his previous two books (The famous Let the Right One In and generally misunderstood Handling The Undead) to enjoy Harbor. In many ways,for people looking for a book to start with, this is the one that should be the first John Lindqvist. I only wish I read it sooner ... but, like so many o
...more
Mia Nauca
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
La historia es sobre un padre que busca a su hija que desaparecida cuando tenía 6 años de una manera inexplicable.
Es un libro que mezcla un poco de fantasía, misterio, horror y thriller, pero todo esto en pequeñas cantidades xq justamente aquí lo que más va a resaltar es lo humano y realista que se siente el libro. Definitivamente John Ajvide tiene un talento maravilloso para describir personajes, escenarios y lineas temporales. Hermosa prosa debo decir aunque me pareció que la historia se desa
...more
Marvin
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Harbour is a very impressive novel but ultimately failed to hook up to my emotions. It starts out beautifully. A child disappears on the frozen harbor during the winter. The father returns to the island and the harbor after two years. He is divorced and driven to alcohol. It is not really clear why he returns but it soon turns into not only a search for his child but also an investigation into the small community that lives on the island. The author contructs his tale by moving from present to p ...more
Daniel Parsons
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: headtrips
John Ajvide Lindqvist's third book, after Let The Right One In and Handling The Undead, is also his third masterpiece. An epic sprawling many fascinating characters and spanning several decades on an (fictitious) island in Scandinavia, it tells of a malevolent force that seems to be taking people who disappear without trace and for seemingly no purpose.. to begin with. The scope of ideas here is what truly sets this book, as with Lindqvist's other works, apart from an often unfairly marginalised ...more
Shorty
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel isn’t really a horror novel, to me. It was rather tense a couple times, but I wouldn’t classify it as horror. I’m not sure what I’d say it’s genre is, but it was good...!
This novel varied from incredibly interesting history and knowledge of Sweden and the towns mentioned, to utter weirdness. GOOD weirdness! Usually it takes me two days to listen to an audiobook, or maybe three if I don’t have much time. But with this novel I kept rewinding parts to listen to again. The narrator isn’t
...more
Neil McCrea
Two things I often hear repeated about Lindqvist are that he's "Sweden's Stephen King" and that although his novels may make for excellent reading they're not scary. Regarding the first claim, I always felt that this was a combination of reviewer laziness and marketing wishful thinking . . . until Harbor. Harbor is very, very much in the style of King. A small town with secrets, a sizable supporting cast from every social strata, a seamless integration of pop culture references, and a strong sen ...more
Mieneke
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, 2011, mystery
Harbor was an intriguing novel. When I started it, I was a little apprehensive, as I was afraid I would be too scared – remember, I'm a wimp when it comes to reading horror – but while thrilling and frightening, it didn't give me nightmares. Instead its horror started with a creeping feeling of unease, of something off and, slowly, the true threat only becomes fully clear towards the end. I found myself eager to return to its pages each night and read until I had to turn off the light due to my ...more
Kelly Nasdeo
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A real thriller. I disagree with the tag of "horror" genre, I think it will turn some people off from reading this book. Lindqvist has a way of taking a story and drawing you into it immediately. You can smell the smells, feel the textures, hear the sounds, you know the people he writes about as if you've known them forever.

Harbor is about several different people whose lives are intertwined on a small archipelago outside of Stockholm. A little girl vanishes right in front of her parents eyes, a
...more
Kirstin
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Supernatural, small town horror. I loved it!
Nate
Oct 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Bahf.

Quick summary: Man investigates his daughter's abduction from a small Swedish town with one huge disappointing secret.

I'm not much for horror novels, but even I thought this book wasn't scary. The plot floated on the surface of the water. It was as interesting as watching someone fish for hours.

SPOILERS AHOY AHOY

If you like books where the main character mopes a lot (Catcher In the Rye, Snow, anything by Jonathan Tropper) then pick this book up right away! The main character calls his ex-w
...more
Rich Stoehr
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-vine
John Ajvide Lindqvist is an author who always seems to have a new trick up his sleeve, and Harbor is his best trick yet.

He pumped fresh blood into the vampire story with Let the Right One In, he gave new life to the zombie in Handling the Undead. With Harbor, he seemingly does the impossible, blending the characters and natural human conflicts of a good Stephen King novel with the sprawling menace of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.

Harbor is the story of a distant fishing community, almost ruined
...more
Oscar_LRB
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No me cabe la menor duda de que Ajvide pasa a ser uno de mis autores favoritos. Igual que con "Déjame entrar", al terminar de leer esta novela me queda la sensación de tiempo bien empleado; en conocer una historia, en dejarme envolver por la prosa del autor.
Personajes atormentados, e indudablemente creibles.

Historia magníficamente hilada. Se nos van desgranando poco a poco los misterios que hacen de la isla un lugar extraño, lleno de malos recuerdos, obsesión por lo perdido...
Como en todas las n
...more
Barbara
This is a popular horror novel from Sweden. The story is compelling and well constructed. I am not a fan of this genre but this is a better example. Domaro is an island in a Swedish archipelago with a secret. People disappear and residents don't talk about these disappearances. Ander's small daughter becomes one of the disappeared and he leaves the island. Two years later he returns determine to get to the bottom of the mystery of her disappearance. Early on there is a sense of foreboding and te ...more
♠ Eze ♠
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Muy buen libro, con un aire comparable a los trabajos de Stephen King. No pense que otros autores tuvieran ese estilo de escritura ademas de el.

Mi temor era que el final resultara en un trabajo a las apuradas, pero fue bien logrado, a pesar que se resuelve bastante rapido.

Tiene una o dos escenas bastante asquerosas, ademas de unas cuantas hojas de mas. Creo que si lo comprimiera en un libro de 300 paginas quedaria mejor.

Definitivamente voy a leer algo mas de este autor, cuyo nombre no puedo pron
...more
Yahaira
3.5 The writing is a 5/5, however the length and pace bring the rating down a bit. Still, very good!
Lina
Vilken berättare han är, den där Ajvide Lindqvist. Tycker dock inte han lyckas få ihop trådarna lika snyggt som i Låt den rätte komma in. Var besviken på slutet.

Nu har jag drömt mardrömmar flera nätter i rad. Och mitt harhjärta säger tack&hej till light-skräck för den här gången.
James
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, translated
It's a very different novel than Let the Right One In . Not just because it's a different subject and pace, it almost feels like it was written by a different author. Of course it is the same author, but it is a new translator. I had assumed that a translator just took the original text and translated it. Word x becomes y etc. Maybe move them about a bit to correct the grammar, but that was it. Turns out I may have underestimated that role pretty seriously unless Lindqvist is changing his style ...more
Brandon
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is set on a creepy little island in a Swedish archipelago. The folks who live there are interesting and well-rendered and a little weird. There is a big secret here, something awful, and the drunk, grieving protagonist has to uncover that secret. But of course, nobody wants him to.

I love so much about this novel. The characters are all fantastic, particularly the elderly magician, Simon. The setting is unique and the author takes time to fully explore it. He tells all manner of stories
...more
Leanne
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Harbour, but I found the storyline to be weaker than his previous books - Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead. I think it lost its way towards the end and left too many unanswered questions.

It had its moments of suspense and a foreboding, yet it is not a horror story. It won't make you fear the sea, but it will make you see it differently. I found the book to be more of a character study, on what can happen to a person when they lose someone close to them - the self de
...more
Alejandro
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tercer novela de Lindqvist que leo, aunque en varias reseñas se lo compara con Stephen King en esta historia hay varios tintes de Lovecraft, sobre todo en el potente final.
La historia se centra en la inexplicable desaparición de Maja, hija de Anders, que deriva en el final de su matrimonio y el comienzo de sus actitudes autodestructivas.
El paisaje de las islas suecas, en las distintas estaciones del año y la influencia del mar en sus habitantes esta envuelto en una densa capa de misterio, hasta
...more
Ian Connel
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
With 89 pages to go, I had to give it up. "Harbor" drifts around like an untied boat. I would guess the editors assumed Lindqvist was infallible from his previous successes so they checked a little grammar and approved the whole book.

The protagonist is a sad and pathetic drunk. His grandmother and her boyfriend were more interesting, but mysteriously they seemed unconcerned when the protagonist told them some of his serious problems. These problems should have been at the center of the story's c
...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good scary story and I liked the characters of Anne Marie, Simon and Anders, but I felt it was too drawn out
Ian Laird
This otherwise quite interesting story came unstuck when one character gets a slug which he puts in a match box.

This is soon after we learn that Anders has lost his six year old daughter, Maja, vanished in the snow.

Here I need to introduce the spoiler early, just in case anyone wants to read John Ajvide Lindqvists’s Harbour. (view spoiler)
...more
Helen
2.5 stars
Anders, a man almost ruined following the disappearance of his young daughter, returns to the lighthouse where she wandered away across the ice, seemingly lost forever.
However, this is only the beginning of an epic, disjointed journey, not only his, but also the other residents of the island.
Weird, dream-like and with some really peculiar surrealism thrown in, I was often confused about where this tale was going, what was 'real' and what wasn't, but the mystery of the island held my att
...more
[Name Redacted]
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Deeper and richer (and longer) than Lindqvist's previous works, and in many ways better. The twists and explanations were all entirely unexpected, Lindqvist continues to be the only author I know who includes sex without trying to be prurient or salacious, and there was a great The Shadow Over Innsmouth meets "The Fog" feel to the whole thing -- and notice that I said "feel". That's not the plot, just the feeling I picked up from it. He even adds a brave contrast to his usual pro-Morrissey stanc ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dark tale of the deep Northern sea, its secrets older than a lifetime and love that will always find a way, with a touch of Cthulhu-element.
Jeimy
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a slow, atmospheric read. At first it feels like a bunch of interconnected short stories. This is due to the fact that the exposition is lengthy and each character / couple gets their own chapter to discuss their backstory. It is hard to discern that this will be a horror story during this time. As various elements are introduced to the plot, the novel begins to resemble an elaborate folk tale. Gradually one realizes who the antagonist is and how it has ruled the lives of the townspeople ...more
Gaby
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful characters, small town atmosphere of dread and suspense, good build-up, intriguing, and horrifying at times. Plus nobody does depressed and lonely (middle-aged scandinavian men) like Lindqvist. I thoroughly enjoyed this and wanted to love it, but the supernatural aspects were just... no. While it wasn't the best book ever nor even the author's best (at least compared to the other 3 I've read) it nevertheless cemented my good opinion of him (dare I say he's one of the authors I'm most e ...more
Ellis Hastings
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Definitely worth a read. A few sections plodded along a little slowly, but for the most part I was interested in the tale. The ending was good and everything came together by then, so it’s 3.5 stars.
Jakob Hessius
Den här, boken hade jag faktiskt ganska svårt för. Vet inte riktigt varför faktiskt. Kan vara för att jag inte är så intresserad av Skärgården vilket hela boken handlar om. Tyckte den var långsam och ganska ointressant tyvärr. Däremot älskar jag Lundqvists sätt att skriva och tycker att han är en fantastisk författare. Det var bara stämningen i boken som inte riktigt fångade mig nåt värst!
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Horror book, please help 6 22 Apr 02, 2016 05:00AM  
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2,371 followers
John Ajvide Lindqvist (John Erik Ajvide Lindqvist) is a Swedish author who grew up in Blackeberg, the setting for Let the Right One In . Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television.

His Let the Right One In was a bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translati
...more
“Who can really say how decisions are made, how emotions change, how ideas arise? We talk about inspiration; about a bolt of lightnng from a clear sky, but perhaps everything is just as simple and just as infinitely complex as the processes that make a particular leaf fall at a particularmoment. That point has been reached, that's all. It has to happen, and it does happen.” 28 likes
“Land and sea.
We may think of them as opposites; as complements. But there is a difference in how we think of them; the sea, and the land.
If we are walking around in a forest, a meadow or a town, we see our surroundings as being made up of individual elements. There are many different kinds of trees in varying sizes, those buildings, these streets. The meadow, the flowers, the bushes. Our gaze lingers on details, and if we are standing in a forest in the autumn, we become tongue-tied if we try to describe the richness around us. All this exists on land.
But the sea. The sea is something completely different. The sea is one.
We may note the shifting moods of the sea. What the sea looks like when the wind is blowing, how the sea plays with the light, how it rises and falls. But still it is always the sea we are talking about. We have given different parts of the sea different names for navigation and identification, but if we are standing before the sea, there is only one whole. The Sea.
If we are taken so far out in a small boat that no land is visible in any direction, we may catch sight of the sea. It is not a pleasant experience. The sea is a god, an unseeing, unhearing deity that does not even know we exist. We mean less than a grain of sand on an elephant's back, and if the sea wants us, it will take us. That's just the way it is. The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us.
To other gods we send our prayer: Protect us from the sea.”
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